Diamond & Diamond™

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Every year, thousands of people in British Columbia operate their vehicles while either intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. In 2008, for example, nearly 40 per cent of fatal crashes involved the driver consuming some amount of alcohol. The percentage of people who had alcohol levels above 80mg% was also about 35 per cent.

Alcohol and drugs significantly inhibit your ability to drive effectively and can lead to collisions, injuries, and fatalities. Both Canada and BC have laws that strictly prohibit drinking and driving or other forms of impaired driving.

Federal and BC Law Regarding Impaired Driving

Generally, only BC laws will apply in cases of impaired driving, but this is not always the case. The federal law may apply in addition to BC laws as well. While it is not technically a crime to drive with some amount of alcohol in your system, it becomes illegal if your blood alcohol level is above a specified limit. The federal law regarding blood alcohol content begins at 0.08. In BC, the unlawful blood alcohol level starts at 0.05.

It is a criminal offence to refuse to comply with requested testing, including a blood or breath sample. An officer can require a test if he or she has reason to believe that a person is engaging or has engaged in illegal impaired driving.

Road-Side Testing

The police can request that you take the following tests if you had care or control over a vehicle, even if you were not driving it, and they suspect you of engaging in impaired driving.

  1. Roadside Screening Device or ASD

A roadside screening device or Approved Screening Device (ASD) is used to provide an estimate of your blood alcohol content. You blow into this instrument, and the alcohol on your breath is measured. They must request this test immediately, or it may not be used at a criminal trial. However, delay in administering this examination does not affect the police officer’s ability to promptly prohibit your driving—an IRP or Immediate Roadside Prohibition.

  1. Evidentiary Breathalyzer Test

Like an ASD, an evidentiary breathalyzer test will examine your alcohol exposure based on your breath. It will determine whether you have a blood alcohol content higher than the federal legal limit of 0.08. The police will only request that you take this test if they reasonably believe that you were operating a vehicle (or have care or control of it) while your ability is impaired or you have already committed the offence of alcohol-impaired driving within the past three hours. Undergoing this test generally requires that you either provide breath samples or go to the local police station where the Approved Instrument is located.

Drug Impaired Driving

Testing for drug-impaired driving is not as stringent or standardized as alcohol-impaired driving. However, police can still perform field sobriety tests to determine if you are impaired from another substance other than alcohol. Failing a field sobriety tests can result in sanctions, including a 24-hour prohibition from driving.

An officer can also request that you undergo a drug recognition evaluation by an expert. The assessment is extremely detailed and thorough, much more so than the field sobriety test. It can be used as evidence to assist in convicting you for impaired driving charges under federal law.

Impaired Driving Accidents

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond are there to help with your claim for compensation if you are injured in a vehicle accident caused by an impaired driver. Our 24/7 injury hotline is available at 1-800-567-HURT or you can visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices are located throughout British Columbia.

The new year is a great time to host a party for family and friends. It brings everyone together and allows them to relax and enjoy the end of the year.

Many social gatherings involve serving alcohol. As a host, do you need to worry about the amount of alcohol you are serving to friends and family? The short answer is—Yes! Your guests’ health and safety should be your number one priority. If someone is injured, you may be liable as the social host.

Your Guests and Their Safety

Consuming too much alcohol can obviously pose health risks. Your guests may experience alcohol poisoning if they drink too much, too fast. It can be deadly. It is essential for both your safety and your guests’ safety that you monitor anyone that may be drinking too quickly.

While alcohol poisoning is very serious, it is relatively rare. From 2015 to 2016, it accounted for only 3% of conditions caused by alcohol. Nonetheless, alcohol caused over 5,000 deaths in Canada in 2015 alone. That does not include accidents caused by alcohol use, however.

Many motor vehicle crashes involve alcohol. Those collisions can result in severe and life-threatening injuries. Falling, choking, and an increase in violent occurrences are also common at social gatherings that involve alcohol.

The most important reason to keep an eye on alcohol consumption at your social gathering is for you and your guests’ safety. Consuming too much can result in injuries and even death for both your guests and others.

Social Host Legal Liability

As a social host, you can be held legally liable for incidents caused by your intoxicated guests in some situations. This may be the case if you served your guest alcohol, saw that they were visibly drunk, and you did nothing to prevent them from causing an accident or harm to themselves or others.

While most social host liability cases are against businesses or are in a commercial setting (such as a bar or restaurant), it is possible for party hosts to be liable as well. A social host is anyone who:

  1. Is not selling alcohol for a profit;
  2. Is not an employer or has any position that creates a unique relationship between him or her and their guests; and
  3. Is serving alcohol or permitting the consumption or service of alcohol on premises over which he or she has control.

The definition of a social host, then, includes those who do not serve alcohol but have a “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Beverage) social gathering.

If you host a party at your home, you may have insurance coverage for accidents that result from over-serving your friends and family.

Tips for Party Throwers

Making a party-thrower liable is rare, but it can happen. It is a good idea to use the following tips and information to help decrease your potential legal liability.

  1. Ask who is planning on being the designated driver or how guests will get home before you start serving.
  2. Offer to let guests stay over or call taxis or other friends for rides.
  3. Have non-alcoholic options and plenty of food available.
  4. Keep a close eye on guests and take their keys if you feel they would not be safe behind the wheel.
  5. Roughly an hour before guests will leave, stop serving alcohol and switch to water, soda, tea, or coffee.

Personal Injury Lawyers can Help

Stay safe in the new year by being a responsible social host. If you have been involved in an accident related to a social gathering, you may have a legal claim. Contact our team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.

Happy new year from everyone at Diamond and Diamond!

Diamond and Diamond Lawyers were recently featured in the Jerusalem Post. The article discusses the firm’s recent expansion into Vancouver and transition into a full-service firm (including: real estate, corporate law, family law, wills & estates and notaries and commission).

It’s been just five years since a family-run business became Canada’s fastest growing Personal Injury firm. 

Just one office in 2013, Diamond and Diamond now boasts 13 more offices across Canada (including Vancouver). A 2015 Leger survey showed that only 3% of responders could name one of their competitors. 

Diamond’s brand of tough advocacy is contagious. Large insurance companies are known to enlist the services of high-powered counsel in order to limit the amount of money a plaintiff can ask for.

Canada’s Tort claims are historically also much smaller than the United States. The Supreme Court caps pain and suffering at less than $400,000, meaning such an amount is typically reserved for those with the greatest pain and suffering.

Most injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t earn their fees until they settle. As such, they must bankroll all costs of the claim before it settles years from now. In addition to being a cash flow nightmare for accountants, Personal Injury Law comes with a great deal of risk for a firm. Many have simply closed up shop citing low capital and high competition.

Over 30 years ago, David Diamond founded Diamond and Diamond. It was at a time when personal injury advertising was next to non-existent.

5 years ago, his nephew Jeremy Diamond, wife Sandra Zisckind and brother-in-law Isaac Zisckind became part owners in Diamond and Diamond and took it in an entirely different direction. They sought to expand and service most claims in-house as opposed to relying on outside counsels to handle overflow.

Their timing was impeccable. At the time personal Injury advertising was starting to become ubiquitous and big firms enlisted the services of media buyers and consultants to communicate their value proposition.

Diamond and his wife sought advice from the kingpin, travelling across the border to meet with arguably the country’s most well-known Personal Injury Firm, Celino and Barnes.

Within a few months, they were off and running.

The full article can be viewed here.

You are required to carry automobile insurance in British Columbia. However, many people continue to drive even though they do not have insurance coverage. This article explains what will happen if you drive without insurance in BC.

Potential Offences

If you are pulled over, and you cannot show your insurance card, the police officer can charge you with any of the three following offences:

  1. Driving without insurance
  2. Failing to produce an insurance document
  3. Failing to display a decal on your license plate

The specific citation that the police officer provides to you will show which offence for which you are being charged. Driving without insurance is the most serious offence.

Types of Traffic Tickets

An officer can give you various kinds of traffic tickets if you are driving without insurance. These include:

  1. Violation Ticket
  2. Appearance Notice
  3. Summons

Generally, the officer will provide you with a violation ticket that sets out one of the three charges, above. However, if you have a poor driving record or previous offences regarding lack of insurance, you may get either an Appearance Notice or a Summons. You generally will not get either one of these until after the interaction with the police officer. In fact, it could be months later. It is usually delivered by mail.

If you receive a Violation Ticket, you generally will not have to appear in court. You can avoid going to court if you simply pay the fine associated with the ticket. Otherwise, the notice will indicate the date and time that you must appear.

Be sure to read the ticket thoroughly. It will describe your charges, the penalties associated with the charge, and whether you must appear in court.

Fines and Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

The penalties associated with not having insurance vary depending on the actual charge. If you are charged with the harshest conviction of driving without insurance, the fine is $598, which includes a $520 fine and a victim surcharge of $78.

If you are convicted of failing to produce an insurance document, then the fine is $81. Finally, if you are convicted of failing to display a decal on your license plate, then a fine of $109 will be imposed.

Each fine can be reduced by $25 if you pay within the first 30 days of the conviction. If you pay the penalty on time, then it will not harm your credit rating. However, if you do not pay the fine at all, you may not be able to renew your license.

Pleading Guilty or Fighting the Fine

If you would like to plead guilty, you simply pay your fine and move on. You can often mail the payment in, or you can pay it in person. You should be sure that your payment reaches the Court within the first 30 days of conviction—that does not mean just ensuring that it is mailed within the 30 days. If you pay the fine, thereby pleading guilty, the offence will remain on your driving record.

You can also choose to fight the charge by pleading not guilty or disputing the amount of the fine. You should deliver a Notice of Dispute within the 30 days of receiving the charge. Again, you can provide the notice personally or place it in the mail. Once the Court receives the notice, it will set a hearing date for you. The date may be within a few weeks or a few months of providing your notice.

At your hearing, the police officer will appear to testify, and you have the opportunity to question the officer as well. You can also present any evidence that you want the Court to consider. The judge will then decide whether you are guilty. If guilty, the judge can impose a fine and can restrict your ability to drive.

Getting Help with an Uninsured Accident Claim

If you have suffered injuries in an accident with someone who was uninsured, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond are ready to assist you. Their unsurpassed knowledge of the laws and experience obtaining compensation for victims whose injuries were caused by someone without insurance make them the lawyers to go to when you need advice and representation. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.

Winter weather definitely attributes to an increase in the number of outdoor falls every year. In fact, according to one study, older people fall 20 percent more often after a freezing rain alert. Other winter weather alerts may also signal greater fall risk, particularly for the elderly, as well.

While it is best to stay inside when you know the weather is poor, trapping yourself indoors in severe weather is not always an option. When you have to walk in the snow and ice, it is a good idea to use basic safety tips to help you walk safer in winter weather.

  1. Walk Like a Penguin

It may seem silly, but penguins do know how to walk well on the snow and ice! Point your feet slightly outward and relax your knees while you walk. Hold your arms out straight at an angle at your sides so that you maintain your balance. Take small, slow steps on flat feet to help maintain control.

  1. Ensure Walkways Are Properly Maintained (or Be Prepared)

If you are on your own property, you obviously have a lot more control over when you shovel snow or put down salt or sand. You should keep your walkways clear as much as possible for others as well.

In locations where you do not have control over whether it is shoveled or salted, you may want to put some kitty litter in your pocket or a small bag to carry with you. That way, if you end up on aslippery walkway, you can throw some litter down to help you maintain traction while you walk. Sand works as well, but salt should only be used with gloves.

  1. Walk Through the Snow

Sometimes it is safer to walk through the snow than an icy sidewalk. Snow will often give you better traction than the ice. Move to one side of the path and walk on the snow or grass if you are concerned about slipping on the sidewalk.

  1. Wear the Right Shoes

Shoes or boots that have natural rubber will do better on icy surfaces. If you can help it, avoid wearing dress shoes or heels in the snow. They do not have the same traction,and they often have less surface to contact with the ground, making walking on slippery surfaces difficult. It is also a good idea to wear a long, heavy coat that will cushion your fall if you lose control.

Ice grippers that you can put on your shoes may be a good idea if you are traveling over hard packed snow or ice. However, you should be careful when you wear these on smooth surfaces, as they can become dangerously slippery under normal conditions.

  1. Consider Extra Safety Equipment

If you have balance problems or you are especially concerned about balance, it may be a good idea to use ski poles while you walk. A cane or a walker may also be a good idea. Even a simple walking stick can help you stay upright on slippery surfaces.

Slipping on ice might be someone’s fault

The law makes property owners liable for snow and ice left on sidewalks. If you are injured in a fall on a walkway or parking area that was not properly maintained, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond &Diamond have years of experiencing helping accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many families. However, they can also be very dangerous. In fact, emergency rooms see an increase in visits over the holidays due to festivity-related mishaps. Calls to the poison centre increase, and there is even a rise in allergy symptoms over the holidays as well.

Despite the statistics, you can take steps to prevent many holiday mishaps this year. Use the following tips and information to help ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season.

1.     Carefully Supervise Holiday Craft Time

One of the most common mishaps around the holidays deals with children ingesting paints, markers, or other craft supplies. Some craft supplies can be toxic if ingested, so it is a good idea to keep a close eye on children who are doing holiday craft activities. Be sure to use age-appropriate supplies, including non-lead paint. Avoid serving snacks during craft time to cut down on accidental ingestion.

You should also store craft supplies in a safe location throughout the year. Children and adults should wash their hands thoroughly after craft time is over.

2.     Be Wary of Wrapping Paper and Bows

Wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon are generally not toxic if ingested. However, they can certainly be a choking hazard for small children. Some wrapping papers may also have metal components, which can make them dangerous if they are burned.

Many areas have bylaws against burning garbage in fireplaces or woodstoves, and for good reason! Some wrapping paper or decorative substances may have a mixture of cancer-causing compounds that will be released if burned. As such, you should avoid throwing wrapping paper or other packaging in the fireplace.

3.     Be Prepared for an Emergency

While you should be prepared for emergency situations throughout the year, it is especially important over the holidays. Holiday cooking and lighting increase the risk of home fires. Injuries related to outdoor activities or play time may also be more frequent.

To deal with these hazards, you should be sure that your home is ready—check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit and know how to use them if you need to do so. If you live in an apartment building, you are visiting family, or staying at a hotel, be sure that you know where the emergency exits are located.

4.     Burn Candles with Care

Candle use increases in the winter months. While candles can make a beautiful centerpiece or create warmth in a room, they can be very dangerous as well. The flame can trigger a house fire, and the hot wax can burn both children and adults alike if spilled. If you are using candles this season, be sure to keep them away from flammable materials, including curtains and Christmas trees. They should also only burn on a flat, stable surface to avoid wax-related mishaps.

If you are using a candle as a centerpiece, be sure that you cut the wick so that the flame does not get too high. It should also be enclosed or make sure that it does not burn too low and ignites the surrounding decorations. You should also keep candles away from wrapping paper and other decorations. Never leave a candle unattended.

When Holiday Injuries are Caused by Others

The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year, but it can turn unhappy quickly if there is an accident or injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a holiday injury due to the negligence of another person, you may have legal options. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation by victims of accidents caused by negligent or careless people or companies. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.

While cycling is undoubtedly more common at other points in the year, it is possible to cycle during the winter as well. In fact, roughly 30 to 40 percent of Canadian cyclists will bike the entire year-round.

However, cycling during the winter can be dangerous because of the increase in hazards—from shorter days to snow, to ice, to unawareness from other drivers. If you plan to do some cycling this winter, you should use the following tips to help keep you safe.

  1. Use Lights and Reflective Clothing

It gets dark faster in the winter, and blowing snow can make visibility a challenge. You should use reflective gear on both your body and your bike. A reflective vest and both taillights and headlights are a good idea. Add any additional gear that will make you more visible on your commute.

  1. Use the Right Gear

Cycling in the winter requires different gear than cycling any other time of the year. You likely want to switch out your smooth street tires for “knobby” tires. The extra ridges will give you better traction. If you are cycling on an unusually snowy or icy day, using studded tires is a good idea.

  1. Try a Practice Run

Cycling in the snow or on the ice is simply different from any other surface. It is a good idea to take your bike on a practice run before you try to venture out into traffic or on well-travelled areas. Be sure to not only practice simply moving forward but also braking and turning as well. Remember that even small adjustments on slippery surfaces can be hazardous.

  1. Consider a Less-Travelled Route

Because biking in the snow has some unique hazards, it may be a good idea to try a less-travelled route for your commute. This may not be the same one you use other times of the year. A course that has fewer hills or you know will be cleared better may be a good idea as well.

  1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

It is a good idea to slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your final destination when you are cycling in the snow. Traveling slower will allow you to react better to hazardous conditions. You should also keep in mind that it may take longer for you to stop on wet or snowy surfaces as well.

  1. Keep on Top of Bike Maintenance

Many avid cyclists will get a “tune-up” once per year. However, if you cycle in the snow, it may be a good idea to conduct regular maintenance more often. The winter months can be hard on your bike, and it is especially important that your bike works properly in the snow. Some cyclists will even use a “beater” bike in the winter months.

  1. Be Realistic About Your Riding

While you may love biking in the snow, there will be days when it just is not practical. Be cognizant of the weather conditions. If the snow is too high, cycling just will not work. Very low temperatures can also make prolonged exposure to the cold or wind dangerous. You do not have to ride every day; there are other options to get you where you need to go.

Trusted Representation when Accidents Happen

A few precautions can make your winter bicycle ride a safe one, but when accidents occur, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you need and deserve when you are injured. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.

Taking your car in to get a repair can be intimidating. You may not know much about how your car works or what it will need to be repaired. Because of this lack of knowledge, the possibility of a car repair shop taking advantage of you is a real concern. However, you can avoid or decrease the occurrence of many potential problems by learning about the repair process and being prepared before you take your vehicle to the shop.

Prepare For a Repair

Before you commit to taking your car to a repair shop, look around at your options if you can. When you are in dire need of a quick repair, you may not have the luxury of fully exploring your options, but if you have the time, you should. You can usually get price estimates from several shops if you explain what you need or how your vehicle is acting.

You can also ask friends and family for their recommendation regarding reliable repair shops. The Better Business Bureau is also a good resource to research particular mechanics.

Getting the Right Repair

Once you decide on a repair shop, allow the mechanic some time to consider your problem and take steps to address it. Tell the mechanic about your concerns as clearly as possible, but do not try to guess at what is wrong if you are unsure. Telling the mechanic that you know it is the transmission, for example, may lead him or her to forego looking at other areas.

You should also be sure to:

  • Ask for a written estimate of the cost of the repair and an estimate of how long it will take.
  • Be sure to let the repair shop know that you want to be informed if the repair is going to be more than they thought for any reason. Emphasize that they need your permission to provide work that will be higher than the estimate.
  • Give the mechanic your phone number or other contact information in case he or she runs into problems or has questions.
  • Be sure to plan for enough time for the mechanic to make the repair. Rushing the repair process may be detrimental in the long run.
  • Remove the valuables from your car during the repair. Leave only the ignition key with the mechanic.
  • Ask the mechanic to give you back the replaced parts. If there is a problem with the repair, having these pieces may help you in court. This may not always be possible, but it does not hurt to ask.

Steps to Take After the Repair

If you have concerns about how your car is running after the repair is complete, be sure to speak with the mechanic right away to address these problems. By the same token, if you have issues with the cost of the repair or how the work was done, speak with the repair shop immediately to seek if you can address your concerns.

Even if you have a problem with the work performed, it is a good idea to pay for the service in full and then address the issues. The repair shop can place a lien on your vehicle for failing to pay for services; they may even be able to seize your car. You can avoid those issues by paying for the service up front.

If you have problems with the repair shop, you may be able to contact the following resources for help:

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. Find out what we can do to get you the compensation you need and deserve by contacting our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting our website to speak with someone now about your claim.

November 24 through November 30, 2017, is National Home Fire Safety Week. There is no better time to consider how safe you and your loved ones are in your home, particularly with the holidays upon us.

Year-Round Fire Safety

You should practice fire safety tips throughout the year, but these tips are especially important over the holidays. Some of the most common causes of fires are more prevalent over the holidays compared to every other time of the year.

Use these tips to keep your home safe throughout the year.

  • Ensure that smoke alarms are installed and working correctly.
  • Be sure you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home and know how to use it.
  • Check electrical products and power cords to ensure that they are not frayed or worn.
  • Keep power cords away from heat and water sources.
  • Avoid running extension cords in a dangerous way, such as in regular walking spaces, behind radiators or baseboards, or through doors, walls, or ceilings
  • Keep light bulbs away from flammable materials.
  • Ensure candles are away from drapes and furniture.

It seems like we need more power sources during the holidays, which can result in some dangerous behavior. Be cautious about how you use fire and electricity this holiday season.

Safe Holiday Cooking

The holidays are usually a time to gather around the table with friends and loved ones, which means lots of home-cooked meals. It is especially important to consider fire safety while in the kitchen as cooking is the leading cause of home fires in Canada.

Use the following tips to help prevent fires in the kitchen.

  • Never leave food unattended on the stove.
  • Keep handles on pots and pans turned in so that they are not bumped or tempting for children.
  • Avoiding wearing loose-fitting clothing while cook—and roll up your sleeves!
  • Use a timer to remind you when food will be ready.
  • If you have longer hair, tie it back while cooking.
  • Keep your cooking surfaces (including stoves) clutter-free.
  • Do not cook while intoxicated.

If a fire starts, do not turn on the overhead fan. That will spread the flames and only make matters worse. If you have a fire in your microwave or oven, shut the door to that appliance immediately and turn it off. The lack of oxygen to the flames will eventually smother it. If you have a pan fire, use a lid to extinguish it as well.

Never try to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or salt instead. A large wet cloth can also be used to help smother the flames.

If a fire starts and you cannot put it out quickly, leave your home immediately and call the fire department from a safe location.

Safe Holiday Lighting

Lighting can be hazardous if not used properly. Be sure to inspect your holiday lights before you put them up for wear and tear and any fraying. Poorly maintained cords can result in sparks and fires, which is unsafe both indoors and out. You should also avoid stringing different types of lights together in one chain (such as LED and incandescent).

If you are using an extension cord, be sure to purchase the cord that you need. Do not use indoor wires outdoors or string several extension cords together. Purchase a cord that is just right for what you need, and you can use it for years to come. Like the lights, however, be sure to inspect the cord for wear and tear before you use it.

Be sure that your lights are completely plugged into the outlet. A poor connection can also cause shocks and overheat. Never overload your electrical outlets.

Getting Help with a Personal Injury This Holiday Season

While the holidays are usually filled with fun and cheer, they may also cause injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured this holiday season, you may have legal options. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURTor visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim.

Happy holidays from everyone at Diamond & Diamond Lawyers!

British Columbia permits you to sue the property owner if you slipped, fell, and injured yourself under the Occupier’s Liability Act. However, just because you hurt yourself on someone else’s property, that does not automatically mean that you will obtain compensation.

Instead, it is your obligation to prove that the property owner is legally responsible for your fall. That means that the property owner must have somehow been at fault for your injury. If you trip over your own feet, for example, you likely will not have a valid slip and fall claim, even if the damage did occur on someone else’s property.

Common Slip and Fall Accidents

The most common examples of slip and fall claims involve:

  • Walkways or parking lots that have not been cleared of ice and snow
  • Wet surfaces that result from a spill or maintenance problem
  • Hazardous objects on the floor
  • Poor maintenance or lighting
  • Walkways or flooring that has not been repaired

A slip and fall claim must involve the property owner in some way. The cause of your slip and fall will play a prominent role in whether you have a viable legal claim for a slip and fall accident.

Proving Your Slip and Fall Claim

Proving slip and fall claims may be more difficult than they sound. You must not only actually injure yourself, but that injury must be the result of some action or inaction of the property owner or occupier. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act, the occupier has a duty to ensure that walkways, flooring, and outdoor areas are reasonably maintained so that those who enter the property are safe.

The property owner must take steps to safeguard against hazards. This may include, for example, having employees clear the parking lot and sidewalks after a snow or ice storm. Then, the property owner must also ensure that their employees carried out this duty that has been delegated to them. Failure to have a system in place and a mechanism to ensure that the process is being completed may result in legal liability for the property owner.

Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims

You must assert your slip and fall claim within a specified period for it be legally viable. The deadline for this type of claim is generally two years. However, if you slipped on property owned by a municipality, you may need to notify them of your intention to sue within just a few days. You also may need to start your lawsuit within only a few months of the accident.

Regardless of the facts of your slip and fall, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after the accident to ensure that you comply with any time restrictions or requirements.

Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

The amount of compensation that you can obtain for a slip and fall accident will vary a great deal based on the unique facts of your case. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher compensation you will likely receive.

If you have specific, quantifiable losses, you can present these to the court or an insurance company. For example, if you had to be away from work while you recovered from your injuries, you may be able to obtain compensation for that lost time. You may also be able to recover for lost future income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer to evaluate your claim. Diamond and Diamond has years of experience handling all types of personal injury claims for compensation for people injured through the negligent conduct of others. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-80-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.